Night backache in pregnancy. Hypothetical pathophysiological mechanisms

Am J Phys Med Rehabil


One hundred women responded to a questionnaire dealing with night backache during pregnancy. All the women were in the second half of their pregnancy. Sixty seven per cent of the women reported discomfort and/or backache during the night. We hypothesize that hypervolemia combined with obstruction of the inferior vena cava, caused by the enlarging uterus, is the underlying pathomechanism leading to night backache. Patients with inadequate venous collateral circulation may develop excessive pressure within the venous system, the vertebral bodies and overdistension of venous channels distal to the occluded zone. These changes may lead to hypoxemia, metabolic disturbances, irritation of unmyelinated nerves and result in night backache.

Fast, A Weiss, L Parikh, S Hertz, G eng Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 1989 Oct;68(5):227-9.